028 :: A strange sort of collapse

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

Narrative

I walk from Bank down Bishopsgate.

A man shouts ‘Standard’ over and over. I wonder if he’s an NPC: street dressing in the simulation.

Though the new Spitalfields, past chain stores and expensive second hand furniture stores.

Cut across Brick Lane to the Co-working space.

So fancy, but at the same time just shabby enough to raise the rent. Dosa World next door seems utopian in comparison. We talk about designing Blockchain protocols as the sun goes down.

It’s all End of Empires stuff.

The background societal ennui comes from our cultures core problems. Ignore the buzzing, stick to the mission: Escape from Prison, Save the world.

-0-

Another freezing cold morning.

I follow an hour behind Eves commute. We met for a quick kiss at 3pm.

The building is next door to the Red Cross Office. Co-located but different views of the city and the world.

Blockchain talk again.

Nearly 6 hours of technical presentations. ZK-Snarks are discussed, the speaker assumed that audience knows WTF they are.

The MC is obsessed with alt coins. I shout out a fake ‘ASS coin’ and people around me nod and write it down.

A UK lawyer speaks: TLDR if you are in the UK and want to start a blockchain biz: Don’t bother.

I sat with someone from a Slack I’m in. I enjoyed his company.

The sun went down.

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I decide to drink way too much free Prosecco and watched the sunset to cope. Later, I wound up in full rant mode to a stranger about how despite everything we’re all fucked. “Gallows are platforms too”.

Inspired, I drunk call one of my oldest friends and demand he drinks with me in Moorgate after work.

He obliges.

Turns out he’s working out his notice.

Stress levels at the biotech startup he works at was getting to him. I told him he had a nice haircut – that made him happy.

I get back to the HQ in Zone 6 and drink even more with a different friend. We talk about his recent job interview and the state of high end electronics market in retail.

-0-

Skype call with a total stranger.

He tells me he liked my short fiction I sent him. “Don’t edit it down into a short story. Make it 3 times as long.”

We discuss grass roots democracy in the US. Watershed management in Arizona.

We discuss the merits of Cooking vs Polyphony as appropriate metaphors for ways of navigating online spaces.

We talk about intellectual pursuits and how some cultural figures preoccupations aren’t the ones I always want to be devoting my intellectual and moral energies to sorting out.

-0-

On a back channel I talk at length about Curation Markets and Token inflation curves with people who are inveting the stuff.

-0-

I remember that it’s always the End of Empires. And for now I’ll keep buying out of season fruit whilst it lasts.

Dipping the stacks

  • #Theassistance
  • Doesn’t matter what the hell you say there’s still 21 trillion dollars missing
  • I forget what we are arguing about but i’m going to argue anyway
  • Youtube launched a patreon thingy
  • Anthems good, Cops good (Apparently)

The Ministry

See the above Narrative. It’s been a weird week.

My new accountants terrified me by sending me a pdf of my old companies accountancy firm’s HMRC case from last year.  “Within the law, but not its spirit”. I might end up owing hella taxes. But hey ho, thats life I suppose, It’ll impact people in their early 20’s far more than it will impact me if it comes down to that. I’m holding on to my butt.

I wrote an essay for myself. Kinda like it.

I sent of nearly 1k words of critique to a blockchain startup on their go to market strategy having read their white paper and watched a few live Q&As with their founder they were super receptive which was really cool

I haven’t finished anything substantial that I thought I would do this week but there is always the weekend.

Reading

I put down 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos for now and decided to re-read the Papyrus of Ani instead.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;a man can say: “It was the property of my father.

The 6 virtues of Maat 

Truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice.

The 42 laws of Maat

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

Music

Queen of K-pop BoA released a new single this week. Its the title track from the new EP of the same name. Its a reminder to everyone why she’s the queen. I think she’s in the 18th year of her career or something. Her 2003 album Valenti used to be on repeat in my kitchen at university. My housemate at the time Mari was obsessed with it, and we all loved it for its Britney vibes.

Remember kids:

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007 : auto-tune the muse – a quick note on why i think auto-tune ≠ instagram (maybe)

comparing auto-tune to instagram is problematic for me as the two are associated with different mediums and the two are not completly analogous. so we can only really speak in aesthetic subjective terms.

by ragesoss (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via wikimedia commons

there is an important difference between the way an instagram filter is applied to a digital entity vs they way autotune is. instagram filters, process, alters, and re-express the whole of the digital object in a new form. auto tune however is applied (in general) to a melody line – a digital element or subset of the whole audio work. in production terms an instagram filter is more like an EQ – this (to me) is an important distinction.

auto tune essentially causes a melodic line to be digitally broken down, processed into its constituent frequencies, and re-expressed as data points on a fixed musical scale (but as my good friend @gutbuck3t pointed out to me on gchat the other night, what it’s actually doing of course is removing the frequencies between the notes). thus the re-expressed melody has a ‘pixelated’ quality. to the listener superficially at least, autoune feels like a ‘snap to grid’ was applied. and even more so when applied to human speech, it reveals the natural melody of speech.

it is exactly this quality i mean when I say a auto tuned melody line ‘sounds’ a lot like a pixel ‘looks’.

auto tune is a process filter that processes audio captured at a much higher resolution and mapping it to a scale. the same way older 8-bit/16-bit images captured at a much higher resolution look pixelated.

:: pixles vs waves –  ‘seeing’ music ::

of course talking about auto-tune in terms of pixels is unusual and perhaps unhelpful as digital audio is more commonly expressed as a wave form. i remember my first experience of ‘seeing’ music this way. back in the day with winamp. later, with audio tools at school/university they became familiar and garageband was there installed like a second nature on my friends macs.  recently and ubiqutously (I would argue) with sound cloud’s wave forms

the waveform like the pixel is now beginning to #newaestheticly find its way into mainstream culture ::

the waveform is a base constituent part of all digital audio, the same way the pixel is a fundamental part of a digital image. this must be remembered by the viewer/listener at all times. the music you are hearing if digitally produced is constituted of many wave forms and images many pixels.

:: but can auto-tune said to be creative? ::

personally? yes – in the same way that overtone compositional works explored by stockhausen or the constrained writing of georges perec are creative explorations within artificially applied restrictions  – however the inherent creativity of auto-tune it must always be remembered lies not with the artist or the producer, but with the programer. which leads me very nicely to my next point:

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there is of course a contradictory element that i touched on before. it is the question of resolution. a waveform is made up of constituent frequencies in bits and bytes and an image is made up of pixels, bits and bytes. in which case i agree with nathans point ‘digital music is to digital photography. much of both reject the snap-to-grid mentality’ as ultimately its just all the same ‘malleable digital stuff’.